'Shots fired' near mosque in New Zealand

Sergio Conner
March 15, 2019

Police have confirmed they responded to a call, and television outlets in New Zealand and Australia have extensively reported on the shooting over the last hour.

All schools in Christchurch have been placed on lockdown, police commissioner Mike Bush said.

"Police urge anyone in central Christchurch to stay off the streets and report any suspicious behavior", he said in a statement.

"They were just outside the mosque about to get off from the bus and go into the mosque when they heard shooting and a lot of people running out and they saw someone wounded in front of them".

After reports of casualties at the mosque, another mosque had been evacuated, said local media.

"Alhamdulillah Allah save us today while shooting in Christchurch in the mosque", tweeted another player, Mushfiqur Rahim.

He said he then heard numerous shots and that people subsequently ran from the mosque.

Armed police following a shooting at the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch New Zealand
Armed police following a shooting at the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch New Zealand

An eyewitness says a man wearing a helmet and glasses and a military style jacket opened fire inside the mosque.

ESPNcricinfo journalist Mohammad Isam reports Bangladesh's Test cricketers were about to enter the mosque for a prayer session.

The Bangladesh team were able to return to Hagley Oval, where Saturday's third Test was scheduled to take place.

Several hundred people were inside the mosque at the time and witnesses reported seeing at least four people on the ground and "blood everywhere", according to Radio New Zealand.

Muslims account for just over 1 percent of New Zealand's population, a 2013 census showed. And a second one, I ran. I'm speaking from experience, I'm speaking from what I've heard.

It is understood members of the touring Bangladesh cricket team were in the mosque when the shooting occurred but they are believed to be safe.

"When that was happening, one of the players had called me to contact the police".

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